Convicted terrorist claims prison guard injured him
Allegation from Sheik Rahman under investigation
August 20, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Egyptian cleric convicted of being the mastermind behind the World Trade Center bombing was injured in an attack by a guard at the federal prison in Rochester, Minnesota, according to his lawyer.
Federal authorities said they were investigating the allegation.
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, 61 and blind, suffered bruises to his arm and a bump on his head on August 8, attorney Ramsey Clark said. According to Clark, a corrections officer grabbed Abdel-Rahman by the arm and pushed him to the floor while the cleric was using the toilet at the prison, known as the Federal Medical Center.
Abdel-Rahman was treated by a prison nurse, who told him he had been assaulted by a lieutenant, Clark said.
Three days before the alleged attack, the same guard entered the cell about 4 a.m. and yelled and cursed at the sheik, Clark said.
Daniel Dunne, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in Washington, said an investigation was under way but that he could not discuss its status.
Earlier this week, a federal appeals court upheld the convictions of Abdel-Rahman and nine of his followers, saying their 1995 trial on charges of plotting to blow up New York landmark buildings was conducted fairly.
Abdel-Rahman was sentenced to life in prison without parole after the nine-month trial.
At least three of six men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000 others, were followers of the sheik.
Appeals court upholds conviction of Islamic cleric
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